A multicentre single-blind randomized controlled trial comparing bipolar and monopolar transurethral resection of the prostate
Méndez-Probst CE, Nott L, Pautler SE, Razvi H. Can Urol Assoc J. 2011 Dec;5(6):385-9. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.10199.


Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON. Abstract


Monopolar transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the gold standard surgical therapy for men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although generally considered safer, TURP experience is limited in Canada.


Forty-three patients from 5 Canadian centres were randomized to TURP with either bipolar or monopolar platforms. Patients underwent baseline determinations of American Urological Association (AUA) symptom score, peak urinary flow rate, post-void residual bladder volume and transrectal ultrasound prostate volume. Primary outcome measures were improvement in AUA symptom score, quality of life assessment and bother assessment. Secondary outcomes included procedural times, duration of catheterization, length of hospitalization, complications and the degree of thermal artifact in tissue specimens. Patients were followed for 6 months.


Twenty-two patients were treated with bipolar and 21 with monopolar TURP. Preoperative demographics were not statistically different between groups. Postoperative data collection times were equivalent in AUA symptom, quality of life, bother and sexual function assessments. No differences were observed in the procedure time (60.7 min, bipolar vs. 47.4, monopolar) or the duration of urethral catheterization (1.5 days, bipolar vs. 1.1, monopolar). More patients in the bipolar group were discharged on the same day of surgery. There were no differences in the degree of tissue thermal artifact or complication rate.


This trial suggests equivalent short-term outcomes for men undergoing monopolar or bipolar TURP.